News

Landmark Links February 12th – Jumping to Conclusions

Must Read: Investors are jockeying for position in the Qualified Opportunity Zone space while still awaiting guidance from the Treasury Department as to how the program will actually work with regards to leverage, tax treatment of cash reserves and early exits.  While many more experienced operators are holding back until they get clarity, some novice real estate investors with large capital gains are jumping in with both feet, highlighting the potential risk of tax-driven investment decisions.  See Also: Despite the lack of full guidance from the Treasury Department (thanks largely to the government shutdown), the 2018 window for placing capital gains in Opportunity Zone investments is already closing.  Investors are hopeful that a February 14th hearing will help clear things up.

Economy

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: US consumer borrowing has topped $4 trillion for the first time in history.

Sticky: US bond yields are tethered to the global bond market which is still yielding close to 0%.

Slowdown? Gas stations are thriving, but plenty of other businesses across the country have hit a slump, according to Yelp data.

Commercial

Push-back: The opposition to Amazon’s selection of New York in their HQ2 scam…I mean competition has been so intense that the eCommerce giant is considering pulling out and finding another location.

Reverse Flow: According to CBRE research, items bought in stores have an 8% return rate, while items bought online have a 15%-30% return rate.  As online retail continues its rapid growth, return volume is creating even more demand for already-scarce warehouse space located near population centers.

Residential

Impossible Task: California can’t meet its carbon emissions goals without adding a lot more housing density in its cities.

Zero Sum Game: Seniors are aging in place longer than they used to while Millennials wait longer than previous generations and pay more for their first home.  If we were building enough homes this would be far less of an issue.  See Also: The best way to fix this situation is to either eliminate “step up” basis or give older homeowners a one time unlimited exclusion on capital gains.

Profiles

Against the World: Amazon’s latest 10k filing makes it clear that it is now competing with shippers like FedEx and UPS in addition to retailers, grocers, tech companies, cloud computing companies, entertainment companies and several other categories that I probably missed.

Going Hollywood: How Jeff Bezos morphed from a private family man to a tabloid sensation seemingly overnight.

Pulitzer Material This story about the porta-potty business in New York entitled The Five Families of Feces is a work of literary art. (h/t Steve Sims)

Indecent Exposure: The National Enquirer, which is run by a man named Pecker, is threatening to release dick pics of the world’s richest man, who – let’s be completely honest here – sort of resembles a penis. I wish that there was a way to hook this story to my veins.  Side note: the real gangsta move would have been for Bezos to release the above-referenced dick pics himself.

Chart of the Day

This is fascinating:

Source: Yahoo Finance

WTF

Short Lived: A wedding in Pennsylvania descended into a brawl after the groom hit on teen waitress, then got into a fight at a reception (h/t Adam Werblow).

Showing Affection: A politician resigned after being accused of licking the faces of multiple colleagues because Florida. (h/t Chris Barnard)  There is already talk about a her running for governor of that fine state.

You Mad, Bro?  An Indian man wants to sue his parents for giving birth to him ‘without his consent’ because Millennials also because of apparently skipping biology in high school. (h/t about 1/4 of the readership of this blog)

Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.

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